I also have a Lofrans on StarGazer and I think they are a great windlass.
Mines is the Titan www.lofrans.it
and to change the oil I just use a little bulb pump
and a tube that fits down the filler cap. Easy when the oil is warm.
Personally, I think there are a lot of disadvantages in deploying an anchor
by “Powering it Out” with the windlass as well as a lack of “touch” in getting to know your hand brake.
The biggest danger
is that you are powering out blindly from a hidden chain locker and twists, kinks and jams forces your clutch to slip, (which it is designed for) but that shortens the lifespan of the plates.
Secondly, it is slow! When I come in to an anchorage I have selected a specific contour on the bottom (usually a dip) where I want my anchor
to hit… so that it will pull upwards in all directions. Letting the chain run out under gravity is much faster, allowing me to hit that spot, despite wind/tide conditions.
By getting to know the tension on my brake the chain runs out until the anchor hits bottom and then stops. As the boat
naturally drifts down sideways or with some astern propulsion
the links slowly pull out to the desired scope
and by increasing brake tension is laid out nicely along the bottom until I apply sufficient astern power to test the hold.
When doing this, the brake is never jammed tight, allowing me to test the hold when it releases a few more links under maximum strain and inertia of a windy day. This is my safety
valve in those conditions which you do not have if clutched in.
That is the big advantage to me of using only the brake. You develop that feel and can even sense the type of bottom or if it is dragging with your hand on the brake handle.
I then transfer the load to a stopper and always leave the windlass ready for quick release if needed.